Suu Kyi woos Czech investors to invest in Myanmar

In light of incentives for foreign investors including a seven-year income tax reduction in its three special economic zones (SEZ), Myanmar deserves to achieve responsible investments from Czech businesses in the coming months, State CounsellorAung San SuuKyisaid at the Czech-Myanmar Business Forum held in Prague.

“Myanmar has the potential to grow into a market similar in size to neighboring Thailand,” she said.
“This market is expected to evolve into one of the most dynamic and vibrant markets the modern world has ever seen.”

SuuKyi said Myanmar has a population of 54 million, half of whom are aged 30 or below. The nation has a sizeable and expanding internal market which will surely benefit from greater cooperation and integration with external markets, she said.

“As the largest country in mainland Southeast Asia, Myanmar not only possesses significant potential for agricultural production, we are also richly endowed with minerals and natural gas,” she said.

Myanmar’s southern seaboard, when connected with Thailand’s thriving Eastern Economic Corridor, creates one of the world’s most strategic economic corridors, offering access routes to the Indian and Pacific Oceans via the Bay of Bengal and the Andaman Sea, as well as to the neighbouring economies of the Greater Mekong Region including Cambodia, Laos, Viet Nam andChina.

SuuKyi also stressed Myanmar’s strategic location, provided that it is a market crossroad – between China, India and Asean, which represents a potential consumer market of more than 3.5 billion people with combined economy worth $15 trillion, accounting for 20 per cent of the global gross domestic product.

She said Myanmar’s growth is estimated to reach 6.8 per cent – one of the highest in the world. She said Myanmar would enhance cooperation with European countries, as Europe and Asia account for over 60 per cent of global GDP, with annual trade exceeding 1.5 trillion euro.

“We look forward to working closely with the Czech Republic as we seek to improve connectivity in all its forms between Asia and Europe,” she said.

To her, trade, investment, development cooperation and people-to-people connections are critical toimproving the bilateral ties.

“We seek to strengthen this partnership further by prioritising the enhancement of our enabling environment while at same time creating incentives to drive forward and scale-up much needed investments,” she said.

“Under my government we have reduced the size of the budget deficit by half, reduced inflation, seen trade grow by 20 per cent every year we have been in office, while transforming the financial sector.”

Mobile-based financial services are growing by 30 per cent a month in Myanmar and smartphone usage is among the highest in the world, she said.

“Being deprived of so many things for so long, Myanmar has the opportunity to leapfrog obsolete legacy technologies,” she said.

In the 1960s, Myanmar was one of Czech Republic’s largest trading partners in Southeast Asia. At present, the Czech Republic stands the 43rd in the list of Myanmar’s trading partners, with the two-way trade at $23.91 million only.
“To this day, Czech Republic remains as our important partner. I believe there is ample room for growth,” she said.
During her three-day visit, SuuKyi met with Prime Minister Andrej Babiš, Foreign Minister TomášPetříček and inaugurated the new Myanmar Embassy in Czech Republic. She also gave a lecture at Charles University in Prague.
“With the re-establishment of our Embassy here in Prague, I am confident that we will fully realise our growth potential in the coming years,” she said.

Source: Eleven Myanmar

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